>> See also: Brexit [a look at why the UK voted out]
>> Brexit and public health [a pre-referendum analysis of the harm the EU does to public health, for profit]
Political discussion is an interesting subject - will Party A be better for vaping in the UK than Party B? Who should we vote for? Some of the issues are covered below.
The three main parties are Labour, Conservative, and Liberal Democrats. Only these groups have any chance of power at national level.
At least, that was the situation before May 7th 2015 - the SNP took over the LibDem's role as party #3 in the May national election, and changed a balance that had existed for several decades. There were four main reasons for this:
There are some small-scale parties, based mostly in England, that may take a very small number of seats in Parliament: the Greens and UKIP. They have a much greater influence in local and EU elections, because for voters their local choice represents their true feelings - but they are not willing to vote for them at a national level because everyone knows only the three main parties have a chance to govern. A vote for the true choice, in a general election, could mean that the enemy wins overall power.
For many voters the main purpose of the national vote (general election) is to make sure the least-favourable choice is excluded from government, rather than to vote for their first choice.
Policies: far left wing to centre.
Labour heartland is the industrial north of England.
Labour are socialists who have a broad membership from the centre through the left, out to the neo-communists. They probably have a wider membership base in that respect than any other party.
Labour are the youngest of the three main parties and have been successful due to the mass vote and their appeal to blue-collar workers. Historically, they represented the blue-collar worker, the unions, and social policies. Most of what we consider to be the main advantages of the socialised state are due to their past achievements; perhaps some of it was due to adversarial politics in countering the Conservatives. Today they have moved more to the centre in most policy areas, as the country became richer and the worker became better off.
Social policy comes as a result of control, as it costs money. What you gain in terms of health services, support for the unemployed, and a far lower incidence of starving poor than in non-socialised states, you give away in all forms of freedom and in high taxes - it appears to be impossible to offer one without removing the other, due to the costs. The UK has achieved a reasonable balance because of voter swing when things go too far one way or the other.
The new face of the Labour party is support for both workers and middle earners plus outright control of every possible aspect of life that can be held without voter revolt. Labour will ban ecigs in order to protect the pharmaceutical industry, as they are core supporters of the new order: protection of major corporates combined with a neo-communist control of the population even if it costs lives; and since it does cost tens of thousands of lives in the tobacco control area, perhaps neo-Stalinist is a more accurate term. They will invade another country to support oil giants, and remove people's ability to buy safer tobacco alternatives in order to protect the pharmaceutical giants (by protecting the vast income channels from smoking-related disease). Labour are core EU members and supporters as the two are essentially identical: iron control of all revenue sources and all consumer choice in order to 'build a better world'. Building a better world appears to mean the citizen is a production unit with no rights, and those in power hold absolute power.
Vote Labour and you will be assured of a good health service, unemployment pay, schools, local services and the like. You personally will have no rights, you gave those away to the state in return for security. Taxes will go up. The tremendous cost of borrowing the money to make good on promises will add to the phenomenal size of the current UK national debt, and the cost of this massive debt automatically means a percentage of tax revenue goes just to pay interest on the debt, and the true cost is deferred to the next generation. It is the ultimate demonstration of profligacy, lies (to get voted in) and incompetence. The Conservatives are little better, most of the time.
Vote Labour and you will be a member of a hardline left-wing European federal state that is completely unaccountable to the voter and has cleverly bypassed democracy: it is a modern form of communism that is proving extremely successful because it provides stability and immunity from voters. The EU works for states and industry by excluding the citizen from any way of affecting policy, and will endure because of its great success in stabilising policy acoss 28 countries, preventing war, and excluding the population from affecting anything. It is the ultimate form of 21st century communism, and moving strongly toward totalitarianism. Labour are the EU's biggest supporters.
Ecigs are far too threatening to established revenue channels, and cannot be allowed; they will be medicalised under Labour, or if that doesn't fly, they will be classed as a dangerous new tobacco product and regulated / taxed out of contention. The EU will do that for them of course, with the considerable advantage that it is then impossible for the general public to influence the law in any way, and gov UK can say that it is out of their hands. That is principally what the EU is for, after all.
Labour will do everything in their power to crush the vast grey market / black market in ecig products that will result from the EU regulations. They will spend millions of pounds of taxpayers' money on this project, which will have limited success since nothing can be banned in practice, especially when millions of consumers want the products and have an absolute right to the products. They will attempt to criminalise people who are simply trying to stay alive or helping others to do so.
Labour are disastrously incompetent at managing the state budget. Everything they do is done on credit, and the national debt grows to astronomical size under them. They are incapable of running the country within its income, and given enough time usually bankrupt it. Then people get tired of the problems, and vote for the other guys. At least, they figure, we can eat and work and have electricity under the Conservatives.
An aside: note that there is no such thing as austerity, per se: it is simply the process of living within your means and not lying about providing services that cannot be paid for except with borrowed money. This applies to all parties and all governments, although Lab have the worst record here. No doubt the services could be provided without borrowing, though, if government did not waste such enormous sums on useless junk. The more you learn about the subject, the more you will appreciate that government wastes vast amounts of money. Apparently, government is too weak and incompetent to solve its overspend problems; anyway, it's not a problem: just borrow more money.
Examples: (1) the HS2 project proposal, when the railway network overall is in a poor state and parts of it aren't even electrified, leading to large-scale waste on micro diesel train services. (2) Ordering new trains that don't even fit the track, as they did, and the extended costs of altering the system to suit the wrong trains, and the overall costs of the catalogue of errors and mismanagement associated with that process. You couldn't make it up... Fair enough: this was a Con error; but Lab have just as many skeletons in the closet. Enough of this - none of them are competent to run a country, judged by the standards of any successful business.
Current party leader: Ed Miliband. Seen by many voters as a beginner and someone with few if any notable policies. Overall, a negative for the party, which is seriously lacking in any credible leadership. Labour's main function is apparently just denying everything the Conservatives say; and everyone knows they will ruin the economy again. They managed to hide the Brown Bottom (see below: The UK economy) quite well, but many will never forget it.
Q3 2015 update: Ed Miliband resigned after the election defeat and the party is currently fighting over a new leader. The current favourite is Jez Corbyn, a very reasonable-sounding man who is also Britain's biggest fan of Marx and Lenin. If he wins, Labour will effectively become unelectable as most people don't want to live in 1950s Russia and probably won't pick a 70-year old Marxist to run the country in 2020. Even Tony Blair says it's a bad idea, but on the other hand you can't tell when the guy is lying until it's too late, and as he's one of the world's most prolific and successful liars perhaps that means it's a great idea.
Q3 2016 update: Jeremy Corbyn appears to have destroyed the Labour party by splitting it down the middle. The average party voter supports him and his professed old-Labour brand of socialism; the parliamentary party can't wait to get rid of him as they know the party is unelectable while run by an old communist who would personally like to nationalise everything everywhere, join up with Russia in some way, and declare war on Israel. Onlookers can't believe the mess the party is in, and it looks unlikely at present that they will have any chance in GE2020 - but who knows. No predictions have been right of late. Perhaps we will become part of a new Russia-UK-Palestine federation, strongly supported in Liverpool and Islington...
Past great leaders: you can't talk about the Labour party without mentioning Tony Blair. He made the party great again, by dragging it kicking and screaming into the 20th century, and making it a party that many more people would vote for. Blair was the ultimate neo-Stalinist and probably had a portrait of Uncle Joe on his study wall; Blair's aim was iron control by Number 10 of everything, at any cost. His happy smiling face concealed the fact he personally destroyed half of the Middle East and ensured peace will not be seen there again for around a hundred years. The domino effect of collapse being seen in the Middle East is entirely due to Bush and Blair's greed and stupidity (or lack of any conscience). He did exactly what he was told to do by Big Oil and George Jnr: invade and grab oil. He helped destroy several countries in order to grab oil; exposed as one of the most brilliant and corrupt liars of the era, it doesn't seem to have harmed him at all.
The film that alleges his wife was a CIA agent manipulating him is just as enjoyable as watching him manipulate everyone in real life - he was the ultimate puppeteer, and Uncle Joe would have been proud. Blair didn't kill quite as many people but he sure did his best; on the other hand, his gift that keeps on giving - the total destruction of Middle East stability - might even see him catch up with his hero given time. After all, the destruction he wrought will last a very long time indeed. Blair was happy to kill any number of people to maintain power and control of the oilfields, and in that respect is no different from most other hardline socialists; it can be clearly seen in EU health policy today.
Policies: right-wing to centre.
The Conservatives' base is the home counties (the regions surrounding London).
One of the oldest parties, called Tories in the past. Historically they represented landowners, today they represent everyone but with a bias toward middle income earners.
The Conservative party has an image based around solid family values and hard work to improve status. Personal freedoms are of more importance to the Tories than Labour - in theory. They support the socialised state but are keen to reduce costs. They have a split personality because of the membership base across centre politicians and voters who can't abide the neo-communism side of Labour, through hard right traditionalists. Some support the EU and some don't; there is always going to be an attraction to a European federalised state because it removes the problematic voters from the equation. Conservative politicians are likely to be politically more honest than their Labour counterparts because they are traditionally more independent - the whip is everything to the socialists (party solidarity on a topic even when the individual does not agree), but Tories do not see the whip as a rule so much as guidelines.
Vote Conservative and you will at least have a chance that personal freedoms are not seen as subordinate to the state; it depends on which way the wind is blowing at the time. Because the state favours major industry (it has to), ecigs will probably not do all that well under the Tories. We can already see that process in action: the Conservatives are currently in power and the Health Secretary is owned 100% by pharma. Pharma's agenda is the country's agenda in anything and everything related to health or associated in any way. The Conservatives will back whoever pays best, they always do. The tobacco and pharmaceutical industries pay very well indeed, so we already know what will happen: small ecig firms will be regulated / taxed out of contention; there will be a few dissenting voices but not enough to make a difference. There is a lot of talk about 'freedom' and 'support for THR' but talk is all it is: pharma makes policy. The EU will provide the legislative base for government to remove ex-smokers' rights while allowing the excuse that the UK cannot break EU law.
The Conservatives are seen as better managers of the economy than than Labour, which is why they get many votes from otherwise Labour supporters - if there's one thing people agree on it's that Labour routinely wrecks the economy. A vote for Labour is a strategic vote where you hope to get what you want from Miliband and pals before they ruin the country and Cameron can get back in [Q3 2016: substitute Corbyn, May]. The Conservatives have a split personality, though, because they talk about freedom - but big business needs the EU, and that is nothing more than carefully-disguised neo-communism: a flavour that is universally popular now because it pays well.
Current party leader: David Cameron. Dave is yet another Old Etonian, which is a bit of a negative; he'd be more popular if he wasn't yet another Eton boy. Voters recognise that he's probably better at the job than Miliband but that isn't saying much. Suffers from the fact that many people reject all politicians as lying incompetents now (apart from Nige of course), but Dave is probably no worse than the rest.
Q3 2016 update: Theresa May takes Cameron's place, after he resigns following the Brexit referendum result. May is ex-Home Secretary and has the confidence of the Cabinet.
Past great leaders: Churchill and Thatcher come to mind. Like all politicians, Churchill was an accomplished liar, and totally incompetent at some tasks he took on (the list of his epic fails is fairly long: he was known as the Butcher of the Dardanelles, and in the next war the Admiralty regarded him as a blithering idiot). But since he won the war, in a manner of speaking, he gets a free pass on most of it. He has passed into the public consciousness as something akin to King Alfred, and apparently all his failures, nastiness (he was an outright racist) and lunacy (the crazy attempt to protect and preserve the British Empire at all costs) have apparently been forgiven.
Thatcher polarised the country like no other leader past or present: people loved her or hated her. She was around at the same time as McLean's shipping containers were changing Britain dramatically, and there was a strange, symbiotic relationship between the two. They were equally destructive or constructive depending on your point of view, which in turn probably depends on what you were doing for a living at the time and where you lived. Unfortunately for Thatcher, she has been blamed for many things that were clearly McLean's doing. At any rate, one thing you couldn't accuse Thatcher of being was a common, lying politician.
Liberal heartland: Orpington (in the past). Now dispossessed.
The LibDems have a long and chequered history. They held power in the past as the Liberal party (or Whigs - some way back), then became seen as irrelevant in the fight between workers and the middle class / aspirational middle fought between Lab and Con. They reformed as the LibDems but still had a long way to go to return to prominence; but were destroyed in GE2015. In theory they support personal freedom more than the other majors, but there is a difference between theory and practice: there is a deafening silence coming from them on ecigs. All politicians suffer from institutionalised cowardice when anything contentious needs to be addressed, and the LibDems are no different; talk is cheap. The LibDems stabbed vapers in the back badly in the EU TPD vote: after a lot of promises, they did nothing. Some vapers regard them as cowardly liars and it is hard to argue with that.
LibDems had been in coalition government with the Conservatives up to May 2015, due to a hung Parliament in the previous general election. Voters could not decide between the Big Two, and the LibDems found a useful niche in supporting whoever promised them the best deal. They lean more toward blue than red because personal freedom does not exist under Labour, and they do at least assign that a token value.
In practice, the LibDems will never be in government as an outright winner; they will support whoever gives their leaders the best-paying Cabinet jobs; they will occasionally get their own policies through while in coalition; as coalition members, they act as a moderating force on extreme policy; they are widely seen as wishy-washy dilettantes, with some justification. They get seats in ex-Tory areas where their MP is a big name and outclasses the opposition in debate, and are generally left alone to win those seats; which are few in number (e.g. North Norfolk).
The May 2015 GE wiped them out, leaving them with 8 seats down from 57. They were victims of three main pressures: the electorate's need to keep Lab out in order to protect the economy, the SNP takeover of Scotland, and voters' disgust with LibDem greed in taking Cabinet positions within government and then reneging on manifesto promises, when they could have done a far better and far more honest job staying outside as independent opposition.
Current party leader: Nick Clegg. Seen as an opportunist who grabbed a cabinet job in the coalition instead of keeping the party outside where it could exert more pressure. His image is that of a nice bloke who is just Dave's puppet. Way too close to the murderously corrupt crime family also known as the EU.
2016 update: they now have a new leader. Can't remember the name as it's not important, the LibDems are done for now.
Past greats: no one remembers them now, it was far too long ago. We'll skip the more recent ones with slightly eccentric criminal records.
In England, there are no other parties other than those listed above capable of gaining any meaningful voice in government. UKIP and Greens might win a handful of seats under this 2-party system. It's hardly democracy but seems to be what the electorate want. Scotland is another matter entirely, and due to the crazy system whereby they get a very large number of seats at Westminster for a tiny vote, Scotland are the power brokers now that Lab and LibDem appear finished there, at least on any day when the Con whips can't control their troops.
Policies: right of centre to just short of far right.
UKIP heartland: Essex.
UKIP are anti-EU and pro UK sovereignty. They are for personal freedom and against federal control. They have some nutty right-wing policies in their manifesto, and some even more right-wing skeletons in their closet, but appear to be trying to move toward the centre to pick up a meaningful proportion of the vote. As a minor party with no sizeable backing, they have a limited crop of potential candidates to choose from, and to describe some of them as second-rate is something of an understatement.
UKIP is in the ascendent but it is unlikely they can gain many seats in general elections, as people have to vote for their least-worst choice. Their influence might grow over time, as people become more disillusioned with mainstream politics, but local elections and so forth are their best hope. The current UK political system means that a vote in a general election is equally likely to be a vote to exclude the 'worst' party as much as a vote for the favourite party, and this works strongly against UKIP.
UKIP need far more visible policies and far stronger candidates; they need to get rid of the fruitcakes in the party; they need to move closer to the centre and abandon some of their more outlandish policies.
Currently, no one knows what their policies are on anything except the EU and immigration, and no one knows the name of any candidates apart from Farage. In fact it's surprising how well they have done, considering this. Basically, it means voters are beginning to dislike the current party system and to feel strongly about the EU and open borders. UKIP will continue to suffer from too much of a right-wing image, though, unless they clean up their act and get rid of their low-quality candidates. Their cheap and nasty-looking purple/gold colours don't help, something a little more sophisticated would be far better.
Current party leader: Nigel Farage. Nige was both UKIP's best and worst asset: a pint-drinking, smoking, straight-talking bloke, but with more than a hint of xenophobia. The only politician who actually says what he thinks - clearly a freedom-loving EU-hating ordinary geezer. UKIP would be nowhere without him, and a significant percentage of UKIP support is based on liking him and disliking the other party leaders. It helps that he actually had a job or two before going into politics; most of the rest of them are unemployable except as well-educated street sweepers.
(August 2016: Farage has resigned, and UKIP are setting up a leadership contest.)
Post-GE2015: getting wiped out in GE2015 has shaken confidence in Farage as party leader, and that might be a good thing for UKIP. They need far more acceptable policies in order to get some of the mainstream vote; a party based on a couple of issues and featuring some notable loonies is not going anywhere. Vapers like the anti-EU stance, but most can't take the rest of it. A stance against open borders is not the same as racism, and UKIP might need to point that out better; but while they host some who could well be racists and are certainly seen as such, it will be hard for them to make any headway.
Policies: left to far left.
Green heartland: Brighton.
Greens are 'the watermelon party': green on the outside, red on the inside.
The Greens showed their hand when they voted with the hardline socialists in the EU to ban ecigs. This revealed that personal freedom, or your life, or your health, are of no importance to the Greens. We assume that personal financial benefit is not a major motivation here (as it obviously is for many politicians who want to ban ecigs), but instead they want to control production and consumer choice, dispense with battery-powered electronics, and prefer that smokers just die. Greens are hardline socialists.
Current leader: nobody knows or cares. One of their leaders (it might have been their leader - but nobody cares) was utterly demolished in a TV debate after giving a performance worthy of a dumb chimp. This didn't help them at all, and probably shook the confidence of some prospective voters. The joke is that many Green supporters are new media industry staff, and the sort of people you'd think would be able to pick a candidate for leader who could face a TV camera without collapsing into a wobbling jelly. These days a party needs a Blair-like leader: a genial, smiling liar who can spout drivel and lies with confidence until the cows come home.
The Greens have no public face. They are seen as the ultimate committee-led party, and this aspect will appeal to left-wing voters and repel right-wing voters. The fact they want to kill you should probably repel you too.
Every Lab government without fail wrecks the economy and leaves the next government to repair the damage. There is no better example of their complete incompetence than Gordon Brown claiming the title of 'best chancellor in Europe' while at the same time selling off Britain's gold reserves for nothing at the bottom of the gold price crash, an astronomical error known as the 'Brown Bottom'. There is a theory that no one could actually be that stupid, so perhaps he was paid / hypnotised / drugged to do it; this is where things get complicated (ask Cherie?).
Cons are slightly better with money, but not enough to make much of a difference to the national debt - all parties without exception lie on a gigantic scale in order to keep borrowing money to pay for policies they cannot possibly fund. The country has spent way beyond its means for years, but no one will admit it. There is no 'austerity' - that is simply a sick joke. The country has existed on borrowed money for years, with a fantastic display of profligacy. The grand illusion is that Britain is a rich country that can afford to spend on a vast scale on anything it likes. The truth is the opposite; in order to pay for the ridiculously high level of state spending, more and more money is borrowed.
There can only be one result of such obscene profligacy, and that is higher taxes (to pay for the interest on the massive loans) together with an impossible weight of debt transferred to the next generation.
Here we see voters' real choices, because they can vote without fear that opponents will gain control of government. The Greens have good support when the issue is not who will win the general election, but nowhere as big as Green support is in Germany. The Greens support Labour hardline socialist policies such as the protection of tax revenue by the elimination of vaping, and have thus revealed themselves as socialists - a shock to anyone who might have thought they supported personal freedoms. The Greens are a hardline socialist party and possibly neo-communist in intent: absolute control, for good or bad.
UKIP, the UK Independence Party or 'anti-EU party', get good support in local elections - a 15% swing to UKIP terrified the big parties in the last local elections. Unfortunately they are seen as a single-issue party and no one apparently trusts them to govern. They are seriously handicapped by a right-wing image and accusations of racism, probably justified in the case of some of their candidates. If they moved toward the centre and expunged the nutters, they would then have a chance at seats in Parliament. UKIP are the vapers' best friend in politics, as they are against any central control, and since the EU want to eliminate ecigs, UKIP automatically supports ecigs. UKIP want vapers' votes and they will get them, at least in local and EU elections.
The EU elections for MEPs are a chance for people to vote on how they perceive the EU. Perhaps for most people, such issues aren't clear. Vapers, in contrast, are now aware that if they vote to stay in the EU, they are voting themselves into a coffin. The EU will do absolutely anything in its power to eliminate ecigs, in order to protect pharma and tobacco (as that's who pays the EU Commissioners' mortgages). We now know that €10 million bribes are required for favourable policies, and EU Commissioners can become fabulously wealthy.
The EU is the most corrupt organisation on the surface of the planet, and that's saying something when they share it with the WHO and FDA: it is the most sophisticated and successful corruptocracy ever seen. Many people feel that although UKIP are not an ideal choice, they are certainly a better choice than the murderous corruption represented by the EU. The EU kills tens of thousands of people a year for the financial benefits (via the Snus ban), and UKIP would need a criminal record worse even than Pfizer and GSK combined in order to come close to that.
The EU President
JM Barroso is on the way out. He was respected, and, for an EU incumbent, honest at least some of the time - he is reported to have sacked Dalli within 30 minutes of the OLAF corruption report landing on his desk. Now we're looking at someone like JC Juncker taking over.
If you liked Stalin, you'll love Juncker.
His personal mission will be to kill ecigs and kill vapers in order to protect tax revenues, protect giant transnationals by eliminating small businesses, and prop up pharma by protecting smoking-related disease. Like all of the murderously corrupt scum at Brussels he'll somehow become fabulously wealthy. You have been warned.
[2016: JC Juncker is now the EU President and all the grim predictions have been confirmed. Juncker has one goal: to create an EU superstate with one set of laws, one policy, and an EU army to enforce it.
The EU and the UK
The EU is a vast, stinking cesspit of corruption, as someone once famously said (more or less). And, the world's most sophisticated and successful corruptocracy (ditto).
It is a new form of governance that we don't have an accepted name for yet: the best of capitalism and communism combined (or the worst). It is a new form of federalism that is designed to completely exclude the citizens from having any effect on important legislation, while maximising revenues and stabilising government across multiple states, by maintaining almost absolute control of the law and the production apparatus and its revenues. It functions by owning the law and isolating it from any challenge by the public; and by protecting transnational industry from any challenge by more agile competitors. The closest name we can get to is probably neo-communism.
It is not just a corrupt system, it is founded on and depends on and is run by corruption: it starts with the premise that the law must be isolated from the democratic process and agreed between governments and transnationals. It generates an enormous volume of propaganda to cover this. Laws (we now know) cost a starting price of €10 million, and Commissioners become fabulously wealthy as a result. The EU's stated objective is a circular economy - one in which money moves around the EU and not out of it - but the real financial plan is to centralise revenues in every way; in practice this means protecting the transnationals against any threat. From these two principals you can immediately see that vaping, which involves large-scale imports from China and thousands of small businesses taking market share off the tobacco and pharmaceutical giants, is contrary to the EU's principal objectives and cannot be permitted.
In fact what seems to have happened is the Kremlin moved 1,400 miles to the west, to Brussels, and was replaced by Palermo, the capital of Sicily, which moved 1,600 miles north-east to Moscow to fill the gap. Marx went west and Corleone moved north-east. It's not as far as you think, and clearly a lot easier than might be expected.
If you are prepared to vote on the vaping issue, then:
In general elections -
1. If you live in Essex then consider voting UKIP (or anywhere else they have a real chance of winning the seat - this will be in constituencies that returned UKIP in the local elections). Don't split the Con vote and risk Labour getting in, unless you have a deathwish.
2. Vote LibDem, if you're in North Norfolk or somewhere else they have a good chance; but remember they lie about personal liberties and will dump you in a heartbeat when the going gets tough.
3. If elsewhere, then vote Conservative, as they will probably treat ecigs better than Labour (although that isn't saying much).
4. If you are tired of life then vote Labour or Green - they guarantee to ban ecigs or as close as possible.
In local and EU elections -
1. Vote UKIP.
At Q1 2014 there were 2.1 million vapers in the UK, which was 4.5% of the general election register at the time of about 46.5 million (it grows 0.6% per year and was 46.1 in 2011, so will be just under 47m in 2015 at the election). (The actual adult population size is far bigger, but many are undocumented and cannot vote.) Vaper numbers had been growing at ~40% per year in the UK but this seems to have slowed dramatically; the figure might be around 2.5 million by election time. Vapers will therefore have about 5.4% of the vote in 2015.
If vapers can convince some family members to vote with them, and increase their vote by half or so, the vaping vote may be 8% or 9% of the total, by the time of the election in 2015. Ten percent of the vote is a useful amount to work with, and it should exceed that comfortably by the time the next GE comes around in 2020.
1. Obviously, don't vote Labour or Green.
2. Don't throw your vote away by voting for another party in a safe Labour seat. Your vote will most likely be wasted unless there is a very good chance of a big swing to blue.
3. Move to a marginal seat. See: www.voterpower.org.uk
- because, normally, ONLY VOTES IN MARGINAL SEATS COUNT
Then you can vote pro-life and anti-corruption, and have some chance your vote will count. Votes in safe seats where anti-ecig parties are safe winners are wasted. In order of likelihood of banning/restricting ecigs, the parties are:
- Labour (worst)
- Green (equally bad)
- LibDem (talk a good fight, then run away when the battle starts)
- Conservative (blow in the wind, could go one way or the other)
- UKIP (best - because they are against the EU)
The EU's murderous corruption kills 10,000 UK citizens a year by preventing access to safer tobacco products such as Snus. You can expect things to get worse if we stay in the EU - a whole lot worse. If you vote for a party that supports EU membership, you are voting for a system that will soon block the prevention of 60,000 deaths a year in the UK for profit (or deliberately kill 60,000 Britons a year, if you prefer).
Or move to Sweden, where they don't lie about the issues, and prioritise life and health over the financial pressures to protect smoking.
UK General Election update, May 8th 2015
- see maps and charts at foot
Conservatives achieve a big win, hold government, and increase their seats to 331 (in practice probably a 12 seat clear majority) - all contrary to every poll, all of which predicted a hung parliament or even a narrow Labour win. This is the worst general election poll mistake in memory.
Labour lose seats, LibDems are virtually wiped out with a massive loss, and the minor parties - Greens and UKIP - do very badly (1 seat each). Cons took seats from everyone, especially off LibDems. SNP is the big news: they made massive gains in Scotland and almost achieved a whitewash, and become the UK's #3 party. Northern Ireland was mostly held by the Unionists and with a small increase, while Sinn Fein held all but one of their seats - in the post-violence period people will vote for them, but apparently the unionists have a better trust factor (they gained a labour-allied seat). In Wales, the nationalist party PC held their 3 seats but made no gains.
The big stories were: the size of the Con win; the massive gain by SNP, the Scottish National Party; the wipeout of the LibDems; the poor result for UKIP and Green; and the scale of the Con win being so great that three other party leaders resigned (Lab, LibDem, UKIP) within one hour on Friday morning.
UKIP were expected to do much better, but local election results for minority parties are never equalled in the national election: in a 2-party first-past-the-post system like the UK, people have to vote tactically to keep their most-disliked party from power. UKIP got nearly 13% of the vote but one seat instead of the 84 seats they would have under PR, proportional representation (13% of 650 seats). Many in the minority parties claim this is not a democracy, it is a 2-party state, and they have a point. Or another way of looking at it: five million Green and UKIP voters are represented by just two MPs, while two million SNP voters have 56 seats, which can't be right.
How this affects the UK - EU question
June 2016: the referendum result is - against all expectations - a win for Leave: around 52% Leave and 48% remain. The largest number of people who have ever voted for anything in the UK voted to leave the EU.
However, there is a difference between a vote to leave and the actuality. There is a strong majority in parliament for Remain, so that the Leave vote by the public may not transfer to an event - or at least not in the form that Leave voters might have expected.
How this affects vapers
Surprisingly, Cons are probably the vapers' best bet (not UKIP): the kippers completely messed up the EU parliament vote on the new TPD for reasons unknown - some of the 9 kipper MEPs voted for, some against, and some didn't vote at all. Who knows why; they clearly can't organise anything properly.
Cons on the other hand voted 19 out of 20 MEPs against the anti-ecig TPD, and this is a good record for honesty and organisational skills*. Lab and Greens have a 3-line whip against vaping and will do whatever they can to ban it in order to protect tobacco tax revenues and pharma profits.
* Let's be charitable and overlook the possibility some may have connections with the cigarette trade, the TPD being, as usual, against cigarette trade interests as much as it is now anti-vaping (though not anti-cigarette sales per se, of course - the EU is clearly desperate to protect cigarette sales from any further reduction, and due to the 20% Prevalence Rule, pointless measures such as standardised packaging will have zero effect on cigarette consumption overall).
Essentially this means that we can expect a sympathetic ear when the the new TPD is transposed [Q3 2016 update: this looks correct], though for all practical purposes vaping faces some degree of ban in the UK via restrictive regulation. As the law comes from the EU, the most corrupt political structure in the world, nothing else can be expected. We won't know what degree of ban will be imposed until around 2017 - 2018, when the enforcement structure is finally in place and the regulations are fully enforced. As the Dept of Health is owned by pharma and will control enforcement, we can expect that EU regulations will be enforced to the hilt. We can also expect that the anti-vaping regs will get tighter over time, as the pain of lost cigarette sales, lost tobacco tax revenue and lost pharmaceutical sales really begins to hurt.
Unless, of course, legal challenges to the TPD (Article 20) are successful - in which case everything goes on hold for a while. All our hopes are pinned on the legal challenge/s, since otherwise you can expect that - eventually - only cigalikes in tobacco flavour sold on the high street will be left on sale legally. No ecig websites as that is 'cross-border adverting' and 'cross-border marketing', which will be banned; possibly even no ecig forums (except offshore) if the ANTZ really dig in. That means 99.99% of products will go black market, almost all current vendors will shut down or go offshore, prices will skyrocket, and quality will fall through the floor. Safety will take a big dive as it always does with prohibition.
If that happens, it will be the first time in history that the public have to go to the black market in order to stay healthy and achieve a normal lifespan.
[Q3 2016 update: the legal challenge failed, and it was revealed that the ECJ is every bit as corrupt as the rest of the EU governing mechanisms - obvious contradictions with major EU policy contained in the TPD were completely ignored by the court, presumably for the money. A huge black market in Europe is now inevitable. At least 10 million people will support it enthusiastically: it is every citizen's duty to ignore corrupt laws and indeed to resist them strongly.]
UK map of seats - 8th May 2105
blue = Con
red = Lab
yellow = SNP
gold = LibDem
main seat changes
UK vote share change